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Your Smartphone Apps Are Spying On You

By Jason Beahm | Last updated on

Is your iPhone secure? Can your CrackBerry be trusted? Is your Droid the Noid? (Yes, that was an 80's Domino's pizza reference.)

Lame jokes aside, privacy advocates and consumers are becoming concerned that our precious little smartphones are storing, tracking and sharing all kinds of unwanted information. Or, more specifically, the apps are tracking them.

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, an examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps" ... showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders."

Concerned about apps tracking? You probably should be.

"In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity," says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is "always with us. It's always on."

So if you're concerned about this, what can you do about it? Besides destroying your phone, virtually nothing at the moment. According to Geoff Herbert at, the only way to be completely safe is to "turn off your smartphone, throw it on the ground," and "jump on it repeatedly."

No offense Mr. Herbert, but come on, but you're the computer guy, can't you offer something better than that?

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